Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Week 14 -The Maiden Aunt - 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

The Herald, Friday 8 March 1901 found on Trove
Once again, this was a topic where I had several potential subjects to choose from, although none were actual Aunts of mine as both my parents sisters all married.  My Great Aunt Edith Pummeroy is the person I have chosen to focus upon.

Edith Margaret Pummeroy was born 16th June 1896 in Caulfield, Victoria, the eldest child of Alfred Henry Pummeroy and Eliza Jane (Beseler).  She died 18th January 1949 in Melbourne.  Edith was deaf and mute, and she was only 4 years old when her father, a plasterer, died of pneumonia.  Her mother was left destitute with 4 young children to provide for - Edith age 4, Alice 3, Alfred 2 and William, 2 months.  The family struggled and eventually ended up in the courts, when their mother Eliza took the huge step of applying for relief. 

Although in the article showed the children were returned to their mother, eventually the struggle to provide for them became too much for their mother and the two boys were surrendered.  They spent several years in an orphanage until reclaimed by their mother after her remarriage.  Eliza did manage to keep her two girls with her.

Edith remained with her mother for a number of years until moving to her brother Alfred's home, where she functioned as his housekeeper.  They appear in the electoral rolls, and the image below is an important reminder of the potential mistakes we can make.  Taken from the 1942 electoral roll, it shows Alfred and his sister Edith living at 125 Union Street.  Directly below is their brother William and his wife Gladys, living at 8 Alexander Street.  Electoral rolls don't give any information about family relationships, and it would be easy to assume Edith and Alfred were a married couple, not siblings.
Pummeroys in the 1942 Electoral Roll

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